Betrayed By Blood

Have you ever been betrayed by your family? No? Well, I have. And let me tell you, it’s not fun.

Last week, after a long day of work, I walked up the three flights of stairs to our apartment front door. All subway ride home I looked forward to seeing my family — my wife’s glowing face, my son’s wide toothy grin, and my daughter serenely sleeping in her crib. Going back to work as a new dad can be tough but knowing you come home to a loving family provides a marvelous silver lining.

I opened the door.

“Varun, we have something to tell you.”

My wife never calls me by my given name. She calls me Vern. When she doesn’t, things are off. I’m worried at this point, frantic even. But things look ok. Everyone looks healthy. I hadn’t missed any calls or received any texts that indicated a problem.

She looked at my son and said, “Zane has something to tell you.”

My son looked at me with his pure eyes. A devilish grin spread across his face. He looked at my wife, she nodded encouragingly.

“Go ahead Zane. Tell him what we both think.”

I braced myself.

“Dad, LeBron James is not good at basketball.”

My wife cackled. My son started jumping around the room. The dog howled. Darkness fell.

I picked up my daughter and left the apartment. We haven’t been back since.

I’m writing this post from Cleveland, stealing wifi from Quicken Loans Arena. I’m prepared to start a new life here with my daughter.

You always imagine that your partner and you will be on the same page. And, for the most part, my wife and I have been. We celebrate the values cherished by each other. Up until a week ago there had only been two things that we disagreed on: ketchup (I detest it while she puts it on everything, including fruit) and Beyonce (I think she’s amazing; my wife said her best song is not better than Barbie Girl by Aqua).

I’ve also only lived by one truth which is that LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all time. He is definitely “good at basketball.” But apparently my wife disagrees and has indoctrinated my son with that shameful and dangerous opinion.

Despite everything, I’m looking up flights back to NYC right now. I’m hopeful we can repair what has been broken.

Because if the Cleveland Cavaliers can be the first team to come back from a 3–1 deficit in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the team with the best regular season record of all time and the league’s first unanimous MVP, then maybe, just maybe, my family can learn to trust again.